This article from today’s Globe and Mail caught my attention if only because I had a conversation with a friend after hockey on Saturday night where he described a virtually identical situation. He was tucking his daughter in at night and she asked him “dad, when does the world end?” Like the author of this article, who recounts how she dealt with her four-year-old’s “where do we go when we die?” question, he was dumbfounded and didn’t quite know how to respond. The guy beside him said “just do what I do whenever my son asks me a question I don’t know the answer to—tell her you’ll look it up on the internet later”—an option also considered by the boy with the existential crisis in the article.
(I shudder to think what “wisdom” google might yield in response to such queries!)
I’ve reflected elsewhere (here and here) about the intuition into the nature of reality that children may or may not possess so I’ll spare you too much commentary (readers of this blog will likely have some idea where I might come out anyway). Suffice it to say that I think children, like the rest of us, seem to be hard-wired for eternity (Ecc. 3:11) and that questions like the ones asked in the article and by my friend’s daughter may speak more than we think.